I have great respect for community driven theatre in Cape Town. They always bring an energy and a commitment, almost a next level excitement, which sometimes get sacrificed on the altar of perfection in large scale professional productions. That is one of the reasons I love visiting the Masque Theatre, because there the thespians who take the stage truly do it all for the love of theatre. Their current staging of Grease epitomises this commitment to theatre fun.
Audiences have embraced the production to such a degree that sadly you won’t get to see it if you don't already have a ticket in hand. However, I hope this Grease #SceneIt will at least encourage you to go visit the Masque Theatre in 2017 to see some of their other upcoming productions.
Let me start with the set… the set design proves that minimalism (as the trendy ‘choice’ we have become accustomed to in main stream theatre) is definitely not the only way to go. Sometimes more is just that, more and very impressively so.
Although not all of the cast were hundred percent pitch perfect on the night, the show as a whole presented a fun night out. Who stole the spotlight you wonder? Perhaps Danny or Kenickie? No actually the undeniable stars were the Rydell High School Nerds with character commitment that delights. A special shout-out to Wesley Rudd who played Eugene. Please don’t ever lose that performance spunk!
Voices that also impressed were courtesy of Melissa Pretorius (Rizzo) and Duncan Reid (Roger). Keep an eye out for these two on the theatre scene. They were impressive indeed. Nicolette Fernandes as Sandy took some time to get comfortable in her role, but at the end she could also hold her own against her Rizzo frienemy note for note.
The Thunderbirds as a collective was a hit, as the guys clearly gel well together. The onstage chemistry between Pete O’Donoghue (Doody) and Kerryn Silke (Frenchy) was also all Grease gushable sweetness. And then not to forget Nicola Date who totally became Miss Lynch in the most charming and amusing way. Thank you for the giggles as well as the angelic touch!
The one thing that did bug a little was the over-use of sexual gestures. As a family friendly musical some of the more suggestive ‘pleasures’ should perhaps be reined in just a tad.
This sold out production of Grease is showing at the Masque Theatre until 23 December 2016. Maybe you can bribe someone to part with their ticket, but I think you are going to have a tough time. From the audience reaction, I can tell you that it is a popular show. So next time, book sooner!